Diocese of the Northeast
Anglican Church in America
The Right Reverend Dr. Alexander H. Webb
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Grace, and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
It was a lonely night. They were lonely people resting after a long day, looking up at the starry sky, not expecting, no longer even hoping. They were simply waiting for the danger around them to attack them and their charges.
But suddenly, the night was filled with a great light! A being appeared before them! A voice came forth, “Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of a great joy that will be for all the people! For unto you is born this day a savior, who is Christ the Lord!”
We are today in a world that is filled with danger. We look around us and we see earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, and floods. We see wars and rumors of wars. We experience riots and looting and depravity of all kinds. And within us we live lives of quiet desperation. We do not know how to protect those we love. We are fearful of an enemy coming to destroy us. We worry about our safety and we worry about our finances. It seems as though others are trying to take control of our lives. All that we hope for, all that we have believed, seems to have been stolen from us.
But into this darkness and despair, a voice comes forth. “Fear not! Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be for each one of you. Today is born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!”
God’s love has come. He has poured out his blessing and mercy upon all who will turn to Him! He who came in great humility, being born in the straw of a manger, is come to lift us up, to free us from our fears and worries, to give us a new life with Him for now and for all eternity. As the favorite hymn says:
How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still the Dear Christ enters in.
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend on us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels; the great glad tidings tell.’’
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!
A very blessed and happy Christmas to you and to all that you love!
Your brother and Bishop,